The Rangers made a dramatic comeback over the weekend, eventually beating the Flyers in the shootout. Today they go for three in a row against the Devils, a team that they dominated at even strength a week ago, but lost in regulation because of special teams. The penalty kill has been better of late, but the powerplay is still a train wreck.
Compounding these issues is that the Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash, arguably their two best players. Nash hasn’t played since before the All Star break, and McDonagh was sucker-punched by Wayne Simmonds on Saturday. Neither has a timetable for return. Nash has already been missed, and McDonagh’s injury puts the already weak blue line in a precarious position.
A win tonight goes a long way, widening the gap between the Rangers and fifth place in the division, a spot the Rangers want to avoid.
John Hynes has his club running a 1-2-2 forecheck, a low zone collapse, an umbrealla powerplay and a hybrid penalty kill. These are standard systems across the board, and are not very aggressive in nature. The Devils will look to sit and force turnovers in the neutral zone on the forecheck, then collapse to block shots and defend the high priced real estate in the defensive zone. Considering the team, conservative is probably his best bet.
For more on these systems, check out our Hockey Systems page.
Andy Greene-Adam Larsson
Eric Gelinas-David Schlemko
Scott Helgeson-Damon Severson
PP1: Boucher, Henrique, ??, Stempniak, Gelinas
PP2: Josefson, Zajac, Palmieri, Blandisi, Schlemko
PK: Zajac, Stempniak, Henrique, Josefson, Gionta, Larsson, Greene, Gelinas, Schlemko
Corey Schneider gets the start.
PK: Stepan, Moore, Lindberg, Fast, Boyle, Staal, Yandle, Girardi
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Scratches/Injuries: Ryan McDonagh (consussion), Rick Nash (leg)
Crazy Prediction: A third win in a row.